The new Farm Bill improves the safety net for producers, expands critical crop insurance tools and continues our market development programs.
In the Commodity Title,
Another important priority for
Experts at the state cooperative extension services will be trained and, starting in late summer, producers will be able to pose questions to and seek advice from extension agents about the new safety net programs. FSA also recently launched a website with tables of monthly updated data for those who want to begin exploring how the ARC and PLC guarantees and payments will be determined for the 2014 crop.
Late this summer FSA also plans to provide producers information on their current base acres, yields and 2009-2012 planting history and offer them an opportunity to verify this information with their local FSA office. Then later this fall, there will be an opportunity to update yields and reallocate bases - this is the critical first step in implementing the ARC and PLC programs. By mid-winter all producers on a farm will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election between price protection, country revenue protection and/or individual revenue protection for 2014-2018 crop years. By early 2015 producers can expect to sign contracts for ARC or PLC for the 2014 and 2015 crop years.
Late this summer, FSA also plans to implement MPP for dairy. The Farm Bill has a target for MPP to be in effect by
By law, dairy producers may not participate in both MPP and RMA's Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) programs. As a result, FSA and RMA jointly sent guidance at the end of June on the transition period, which will afford dairy producers maximum flexibility by allowing them to transition to the MPP-Dairy program in either 2014 or 2015. This flexibility will allow producers under LGM-Dairy, who already have LGM-Dairy target marketings that go into 2015, to participate in MPP-Dairy in 2015 after their insurance contract is over, as opposed to keeping these producers out until 2016.
Later this year, the Committee can expect to see a proposed definition of "significant contribution of active personal management."
The crop insurance program has become an increasingly important component of the farm safety net, and crop insurance protections for all farmers, particularly beginning farmers and ranchers, have been strengthened under the new Farm Bill.
In order to implement the numerous crop insurance changes as quickly as possible, the
In April, RMA began revising the premium rates charged for Catastrophic Risk Protection Endorsement (CAT) coverage base them on the average historical "loss ratio" plus a reasonable reserve. This change will not increase costs for growers. RMA will update actuarial documents throughout the year as applicable to fully implement this section. Additionally, in April RMA implemented a prohibition of catastrophic coverage on crops used for grazing by issuing a guidance document to amend the Special Provisions for the annual forage policy.
In May, RMA completed the update to its systems to reflect the permanent enterprise unit subsidy as mandated by the Farm Bill. Also in May, due to efforts that RMA began last summer, a Whole -Farm Revenue Protection program, as required by the Farm Bill, was approved by the FCIC Board of Directors. RMA expects the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection product information to be available to farmers later this year in time for producers to make plans and decisions for 2015 crop sales. In mid-May, RMA's Risk Management Education Request for Application (RFA) for Risk Management Education Partnerships grants and
Last week RMA published an interim rule on seven sections from the Farm Bill: highly erodible land and wetland conservation for crop insurance, enterprise units for irrigated and non-irrigated crops, adjustment in actual production history (APH) to establish insurable yields, crop production on native sod, coverage levels by practice, beginning farmer and rancher provisions, and authority to correct errors.
This rule will allow RMA to begin offering some of these benefits to producers as soon as this fall, including the beginning farmer and rancher provisions, the authority to correct errors and make late payments, and restrictions for producers who plant on native sod. RMA expects to offer enterprise units for irrigated and non-irrigated crops and coverage levels by practice for spring crops in 2015. Adjustment in APH will be available for crops planted in the fall of 2015. This was one of the few crop insurance provisions that did not exist in either the House or
The interim rule links eligibility for any premium subsidy paid by FCIC on a policy or plan of federally reinsured crop insurance to be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetlands Conservation (WC) provisions. Although no producers will lose premium subsidy for the current reinsurance year, "first time compliers" will need to visit a FSA office to certify their compliance if they have not already done so.
RMA plans to release policy materials later this month for SCO, which provides coverage for the layer of risk between 86 percent and the coverage level selected by the insured. This means an insured that elects a 70 percent coverage level could elect to cover an additional 16 percent of risk under SCO. County availability for winter wheat will be published this month. Information for other crops such as corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, spring wheat, and cotton will be made available later this summer or early fall for the spring planting. I am pleased to announce that in addition to these crops, RMA will be able to offer SCO coverage for spring barley beginning in 2015. This fall, RMA will look at additional crops that can receive SCO coverage as well as additional counties.
Policy materials and county availability for STAX will be made available in August. RMA anticipates that STAX will be available for over 98 percent of cotton acreage in production. FSA plans to have more information on cotton transition payments available later this summer. For the counties where STAX is not available in 2015, upland cotton producers will be eligible for an additional transition payment.
RMA is also preparing statements of work and cost estimates for contracted feasibility studies on food safety and swine catastrophic loss. In addition, it will be issuing a consultation notice as a first step in the research and development of a policy to insure biomass sorghum and sweet sorghum grown for the purposes of producing a feedstock for renewable biofuel, renewable electricity, or bio-based products.
Finally, RMA appreciates that
In closing, I would like to again thank the Committee for this opportunity to update you on
Read this original document at: http://republicans.agriculture.house.gov/sites/republicans.agriculture.house.gov/files/pdf/hearings/Scuse140710.pdf
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